The Cost of Silence. Why Speaking Up for Yourself Matters.
If you tend to be quieter than most and keep your cards close to your chest, this article is for you.
Sometimes standing up (and speaking up) for yourself, your boundaries, and what you believe in can feel uncomfortable.
As a child, maybe you understood to “not talk back” to authority figures. That strategy can have its place when you’re a kid, but once you’re an adult, it’s important — for others and yourself to make your thoughts and feelings known. And of course, when it comes to certain topics, and at appropriate times.
Whether you find it difficult to speak up in your personal life or business, learning how and when to speak up in either arena will serve you. The cost of silence sometimes is greater than the cost of speaking up, because in speaking up, you’re going to have greater clarity.
When you speak up, your cards are no longer close to your chest. They’re on the table, and then you all know where you all stand and can you can move on from there. When you share your thoughts, you clear the way for moving past assumptions. Living in an assumption is dangerous when all you need to do is ask a question, state your position, and get the clarity you need.
Now, it’s not our responsibility to empower somebody else, but it is certainly within our means to stay empowered without disempowering others by the use of our words.
Here’s why speaking up for yourself matters:
- You allow others the opportunity to understand you better
- Others get the chance to explain themselves and clear up any confusion
- It gives others the chance to meet your expectations
- Removes any doubt about whether or not you approve of the other party’s beliefs or behavior
I’m not implying you should expect something in exchange for your honesty. Don’t expect the other party to change, agree, or to comply.
The act of speaking up is purely for yourself and your personal growth. It’s about honoring yourself and your beliefs and values.
Speak up for yourself in a resourceful way.
This is very different than announcing your truths to the world or fighting for what’s right. Speaking up for yourself is about finding the middle ground between the side that says, “I’m right, and this is true,” and the side that says, “I have no voice, and I have no idea how to share what I think.”
Sharing your voice is powerful, and there are some things you can do to help make it easier. When you can share your insights in a way that’s clear and helpful, at times when it’s appropriate, then you’re going to make huge strides in the direction of feeling strong in your own right, regardless of who’s around you or agrees or disagrees with you.
Explore the intention behind speaking up.
Before you open your mouth and begin talking, determine what you’re trying to accomplish. Why is this important for you? What is it that you want out of this situation? How can you share this in a way that creates some logic and neutrality? Meaning, this is more than you simply speaking your mind for the sake of it — you’re communicating with a specific purpose.
When considering speaking up for yourself, timing matters too. If you’re in the middle of a heated discussion, it’s usually best to wait. When emotions are high, it’s unlikely that either party is in a calm, rational place. Save your conversation for when the emotions have subsided, and you’ve acquired some clarity on the situation.
Then, if you still deem it appropriate to share, and if you believe it will shed some light on the situation, do so in a nonjudgmental way, not expecting a response from the other party. If something doesn’t feel acceptable to you, stop and have the conversation and share so you can make yourself and your point known.
This is not about asking or expecting someone to make a change. This is about you speaking up for you and, in the process of you speaking up for you, you can create change for yourself.
You’re not attempting to change anyone or convince them that your way is the best. This is simply about you honoring you, and standing up for yourself. You’re sharing information, not having that expectation in return, that what you’re saying is going to then lead to change, because it may not.
Chances are, once you say something, the conversation will lead to clarity. And when you have clarity, you have more choices.
There are times when speaking up is crucial. When someone has crossed a boundary or challenged your beliefs in a way that leaves you feeling disempowered, it’s important for you to take immediate action. When a boundary has been crossed, you may feel it in your body. Pay attention to that sensation!
Speaking up for yourself is a sign to yourself and others of self-respect. Others can only respect you to the degree that you show respect for yourself.
What you have to say matters.
Navigating the waters of if, how, and when to stand up for yourself takes a clear mind and plenty of practice. The only way to improve at speaking up for yourself is by doing it.
Speaking up for yourself starts with you, and means that you’re taking a huge step in the direction of you respecting you. And when you can respect you, then you are then creating a model of respect around you.
The key is to know yourself, your beliefs, and your boundaries, and then respect those. You can do this. You — and everyone else involved — will benefit.
Want to hear more about speaking up? Head over to episode #46 of The Mind Revolution Podcast: On Speaking Up for Yourself and When to Do It, and press play!
If this article gave you the nudge you needed to speak up and you know someone else who needs this, please forward it to them! And then, check these out:
I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.
If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.